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Hair Fall and Hair Care

Hair plays a vital role in personality of human being and so the thinning of hair is a
serious social issue. Hair fall is not a new issue. But it has become a hot topic of discussion
among beauty world. It was restricted to men of late 60s only till a few years back. But now it
is common in women and even in young men. The hair treatment has grown a lot due to high
demand. What exactly is the cause, and how can we prevent it. Ayurveda consider, the cause
for this mainly due to the change in our lifestyle and food habits. It would sound weird, but
unfortunately that is the major reason for leading hairfall.

Hair structure

The hair is an appendage of skin. An average head contains over 100000 follicles,
which are the cavities on scalp surface. From each follicle about 20 hair fibers grow in a
lifetime. Each hair fibers grow for several years and then fall out, which is replaced by new
hair fibers. Each hair fiber consist of cuticle and cortex, they are mostly dead cells. They are
filled with 65 – 95% of, protein called Keratin. The percentage vary depending on amount of
water content. Each hair fiber have outer shaft and a inner root or hair bulb. Hair bulb
anchors the hair into the scalp. It contain cells that divides and grow to produce shaft. Blood
vessels in the scalp enter the bulb and nourishes these cells.

Phases of hair growth

Hair growth has mainly three phases:

  1. Growing phase called Anagen. Each hair spend years in this phase, as there will be
    continuous growth for 2 – 8 years. Almost 80% of hair will be in this phase.
  2. Transitional phase called catagen. After certain period, the hair fibers slowdown the growth and the follicles shrink slowly. It will be for 10 – 14 days.
  3. Resting phase called telogen. After the hair growth stops, the old hair get detached from it follicle. And a new hair enter the growth phase.

Randomly 50 – 100 hair fall randomly every day. An increase of more than that is considered
as hair loss.

Hair disorders

Even though hairfall is the most commonly known issue of hair, there are many other
disorders effecting the normal hair.

  1.  Male pattern baldness – As the name sugest it is the most common hair fall pattern in male.
    Here the hair fall will be mainly in frontal causing raising hair line, or at crown or both. This
    is a typical pattern.
  2. Female pattern hair fall – Here the hair fall is uniform across the scalp. The hair line will
    remain the same. The crown may be effected.

  1. Alopecia areata – It is the loss of hair in patches, usually from the scalp. Sometimes found
    on other part of the body. It is an auto immune disorder, which can effect both male and
    female.
  2. Dandruff – Thick flakes of skin that fall off. It is a condition that effect the scalp.
    Sometimes associated with itching. There may be some serious underlying skin issue
    associated with dandruff. Which causes weakness of hair bulb and increase the rate of hair
    fall.
  3. Tinea Capitis – A fungal infection effecting the scalp and cause round patchy hair fall.
  4. Head lice – A tiny insect that live on the scalp by sucking the blood. Normally found in school going kids.
  5. Telogen effluvium – It is a condition were there will be abrupt hair loss, following a shock like sever stress, surgery, child birth etc. Normally hair grow back after certain period.
  6. Folliculitis – Inflammation of hair follicle, due to an infection or any other cause. It causes hair fall.

All these conditions lead to hair fall.

Causes of hair fall

There are many ways to treat hair fall, but all of them depend on the cause of it. The
following are some of the important causes –

  • Genetic factor – Usually this comes in combo with hormone level. Mainly applicable in
    male pattern, and female pattern hair fall. The causative factor is the gene inherited from
    parent.
  • Anemia – Less Hb level in blood, due to deficiency of iron or any other reasons, is an
    immediate cause of hair fall.
  • Hypothyroidism – The thyroid gland located in the neck, secrete certain hormone important
    for growth and development. Any imbalance in the function of this gland cause hair loss.
  • Auto immune related hair fall. Mainly in alopecia, were the bodies immune system attacks
    the normal hair follicle, resulting in hair loss.
  • Vitamin B deficiency and over intake of vitamin A also cause hair fall.
  • Chemotherapy – Side effect caused by certain medicine. Especially medicines for
    depression, blood thinners etc.
  • Rapid weight reduction – sudden losing weight is a physical stress to your body which
    cause thinning of hair.
  • Mental Stress
  • Over styling
  • 10 Loss of sleep
  • Untimely and unhealthy food habit and lifestyle.
  • Deficiency of Calcium

Ayurvedic interpretation of Hair fall

Ayurveda consider hair/kesa as a part from Asthi dhatu (bone) and also as a part of
majja dhatu (bone marrow). Kesa sata or hair fall is explained as weakness of proper
nourishment to hair. Due to improper diet and lifestyle, the dosha (Vata, pitta or kapha)
vitiate and get localized in scalp causing weakness of hair, color change etc which result in
hair fall. The pattern of hair fall depend on the dosha vitiated and nidana (causative factor).
The approach of treatment depend on underlying causative factor. Some times a complete
blood test may also be required.

Ayurveda explained the qualities of a good hair as prasasta kesa lakshana –
Susnigdha(slightly unctuous), Mruduta(soft), sookshmata(very thin/slender), na eka
moolatwa(have many roots/attachments), sthiratwa(fixed tightly).

Also the different characters are explained according to the constitution of each people.

For example,

Vataja people will have:
Alpa kesa – less thick hair
Rooksha kesa – moisture content will be very less.
Sphuta kesa – split hairs
Parusha kesa – rough in texture.

Pittaja people will have:
Alpa – less distributed hair
Tanu – very thin/slender
Mrudu – soft hair
Pinga/kapila varna – tawny or brownish red color.

Kaphaja people will have:
Ghana – very thick hair
Sthira – firmly attached hair
Kutila – curly hair
Neela varna – blackish blue color.

Also ayurveda explains about hair quality in Sara purusha, as in twak sara and medo sara. It
means the hair will be well formed in those who have healthy skin and well formed fat in
their body. Ie, the health of hair depends on healthy skin, fat, bone and blood. The health of
these factors are maintained by healthy food and healthy lifestyle.

Guidelines for proper hair care according to type of hair

Vata type hair
This type hair are usually dry. Their scalp also tends to become dry and more frequent
dandruff may be seen. So they require regular oil massage. The herbal oil based on coconut
oil will be better. Massage the scalp for 20 – 30 min gently. And then wash with mild warm
water with or without mild shampoo. It will be highly benifitial to do Nasyam daily with 2
drops of oils like Anu tailam, Ksheera bala 101 etc.

Pitta type hair 
They have oily skin, there may be premature grey of hair, or skin problems such as, eczema,
psoriasis etc. They need to use, cooling hair oil, to pacify pitta. They can do pack with
hibiscus leaf, triphala etc. Also they need cleansing once in 3 months with herbal powders
like triphala, avipathi etc. It is also good to do nasyam.

Kapha type hair
This type hair is normally very oily, and curly. So they need to be cleansed using eladi
choorna kashaya or triphala choorna kashaya occasionally. They can use oil occasionally.
Nasya is good for them also.

General hair care according to ayurveda:

  1. Oil Massage
    Massage regularly with special oil prepared with herbs good for hair, will strengthen the root
    of hair and scalp. It improves the blood circulation of scalp. Some of the oils are bringaraja
    keram, tulasyadi keram, uttama taialm, etc.
  2.  Regular cleansing and nourishing of scalp (Shirodhara)
    Scalp can be cleaned by using lemon occasionally in your home(but not recommended for
    pitta hair). Ayurveda uses different methods to clean the scalp like
    Sirodhaara with medicated kashayam – the medicated decoction is prepared using triphala
    or yahti triphala or elaadi powder or any other herb as needed. And this kashayam is poured
    over the head for 40 – 60 min depending on the need. This procedure will be repeated for 5 –
    7 days or more.
  3. Sirolepam/thalapothichil
    This procedure will help to clean the scalp as well as nourishes the skin and bulb of the follicle. Here the herbs are powdered and mixed with proper medicated water and made into pate form. This is applied uniformly on the scalp and then covered with leaf. This will be kept for 30 – 40 minutes depending on the need. The herbs are selected carefully, according to the purpose.
  4. Nasyam
    Inhaling medicated oil drops through nose. Initial oil massage and steam is given as a preparation. Then the oil which is prepared with herbs will be poured by drops. Number of drop depend on the need. You can do the procedure at home by the advice of ayurveda specialist.
  5. Sodhana
    In certain condition ayurveda physician will advice to do deep cleansing like virechanam or vamanam or vasti, after evaluating the dosha in your body.
  6. Medication
    Intake of certain herbal medicine may be advised in certain cases. The medicine will depend on the cause of hair damage. Some of the medicine include – Naraimha rasayana, jeevamrutam, sankha bhasma, cyavanaprasa, etc. medications should be taken under the advice of an expert. Because, they serve different purpose.
  7. Healthy diet
    This is the most important among above all. What ever you, do to help your hair, you will have to follow a healthy food habit, without which you never achieve the goal. Healthy diet includes the timely intake of food, proper quantity of food, etc. Ayurveda explains theproper steps of taking food in detail.
    Take more protein food like soya, channa, sprouts, fish, egg etc. increase the intake of iron, as it is essential for hemoglobin formation. So take more green leafy vegetables, raisins, dates etc. Indian gooseberries, curry leaves, sesame seeds, beans, fenugreek etc are also good to take daily. Whole grain, liver, cranberries, raspberries, yeast, egg yolk etc are rich in biotin, which is important to prevent the hair fall. Indian salmon, avocado, pumpkin seeds, walnut etc are rich in omega 3 fatty acid, which is important to hydrate the hair follicle. Strawberries, blueberries, papaya, orange etc are rich in vitamin c, which help to absorb iron and increase the blood capillary formation.
    Nuts like almond, walnut, etc, sunflower oil, spinach etc are rich source of vitamin E, which is very important for the building and repairing of hair. It also protect the hair from damage caused by sun.

Some home remedies for healthy hair

  1. Massage your head with honey and egg yolk for healthy hair.
  2. Rinse the hair and scalp with lime juice and leave it for few minutes and wash using warm
    water. Doing it regularly will improve hair strength.
  3. Apply lemon, curd, mustard oil over hair wash after 20 – 30 minutes.

If you are suffering from this condition, contact us today to get a free health consultation and we will provide you with the best ayurvedic therapy with no side effects for your cure.

Thank you.

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